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The weathering of historical buildings and, indeed, of monuments and sculptures of natural stone is a problem that has been encountered for hundreds of years. However, a dramatic increase in deterioration in the structure of our built heritage has been observed during the past century. To understand the complex interaction that the stone in a building suffers with its near environment (the building) and the macro environment (the local climate and atmospheric conditions) requires an interdisciplinary approach and the application of many different theoretical, experimental and empirical resources provided by the geosciences, chemistry, materials sciences, biology and construction engineers.

The protection of our architectural heritage has both the cultural and historical importance, as well as substantial economic and ecological value. Large sums of money are spent worldwide on measures for the preservation of monuments and historical buildings. Optimization of damage analysis procedures and damage process controls, as well as the development of monitoring and early warning systems for damage prevention, is needed. The past several decades have seen an unprecedented level of research activity in this area, the results of which are often difficult to access. This book is intended to provide an integrated approach to the study of the deterioration of geomaterials, making the research available to a wide international audience.

"Natural Stone, Weathering Phenomena, Conservation Strategies and Case Studies" comprises 30 chapters divided into six sections: weathering of natural building stones; weathering processes; fabric dependence of physical properties; biodeterioration; quality assessment and conservation of stones; and environmental conditions. Review articles are combined with reports on recent progress in the various fields, authored by a comprehensive team of international contributors. This volume will be of interest to all those involved in the protection of our built heritage.



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